Written by: Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, Art by: Robbi Rodriguez, Colours by: Rico Renzi, Letters by: Hassan Otsmane-elhaou.
Peter Stanchek is a nightmare to the people of Psiot City. He bears an enormous amount of power, but he has awakened with no memory of who he is. Just words on the wall are his only clue: “be better”.
“The Warning” still have the young Psiot. Their plan is to drain all Psiots of their power to keep for their own. All the while, the city still see them as heroes. Peter can’t do anything if he’s seen as a terrorist, but if he creates a new persona, one that might inspire hope, then maybe they can rally behind him. He can stop them from murdering all these powered people, but he will now do it as. . . The Harbinger.
This has been a interesting series so far, but it’s been difficult for me to fully get invested in it, as I’m still not too fond of the art style. I can definitely see that some people might like it as it’s very stylish and edgy, but personally it’s so reflective of the character in that it’s not consistent with its panel layout or colour palette. It has moments of being beautiful, but they are dwarfed by action scenes where it’s difficult to determine what’s going on. Again, that is a style in itself which was made popular by films such as The Bourne Identity, however it’s for those reasons why I wasn’t a fan of that kind of film, and as such am still finding it difficult to connect with the series.
Above we have an example of how confusing some of the panels can be. While it’s very stylish, it’s a style I personally find hard to grasp, making this series difficult for me.
Although I find the art style not to my liking, I’m still enjoying the series at its script level. It’s managing to balance a classic style of comic writing with its defined lines of good and bad, with a complex, more modern style of throwing in Peter's mental illness, which is causing him to not believe everything, which in turn makes us as the audience question everything that’s happening. This has been used along with Peter's memory being wiped, giving us the ability to progress through the story along with him as he finds out more about himself and the city he lives in.
Another aspect that made this issue good was the way that Peter has stepped up to become a hero. He has to make choices to protect others and cares less about how he feels compared to others. The truly heroic thing is to be selfless and sacrifice things for the benefit of others. This is highlighted by writers Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing when Peter starts to contemplate if he can get his memories back; would he even need or want them? He’s made the choice no matter who he was or how people used to view him that he needs to “be better”, and doing so maybe he doesn’t need his past, as this might drag him down. He’s doing what he can to protect those he lives with, and in doing so, maybe they can trust him as this new hero.
Overall, it’s still difficult for me to get past an art style that’s very different from what I like. However, I do enjoy the colours, and I’m finding the script thrilling. I still feel a bit in the dark about the character as we are three issues in and not much has been revealed, so it’s difficult to say if Classic Harbinger fans would enjoy this as I’m new to the character and I’m finding it a struggle. Maybe having more knowledge of previous incarnations of the book could help, which if I have the time I might do, but as it stands I can’t help but think that it’s a long way off from Valiant's best book.
The Harbinger issue 3 was released by Valiant Comics on 22nd December from your Local Comic Shop as well as comixology
Andrew Carr was blessed to grow up watching the animated series of Batman, X-Men, and his favorite, Spider-Man.This started his dive into the comics world, which resulted in meeting his amazing cosplaying wife Imogen. They live in England with their Sinister Six dogs.